Scenic USA - California

Trona Pinnacles

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Trona Pinnacles - San Bernardino County, California

Photos by Cecil Whitt
Cecil Whitt Photography

     Labeled only as the Searles Lake (Dry) on a California map, the Trona Pinnacles are some of nature's oddities formed thousands of years ago. Trona Pinnacles - San Bernardino County, California Once growing under a deep sea, calcium rich groundwater combined with alkaline lake water to create an assortment of soft tufa shapes during three distinct periods of time. These rock formations range from 11,000 to 100,000 years old.
     Often called the Cathedral City, this eerie collection of towers, spires, ridges and cones are sandwiched between two sections of the China Lake Naval Weapons Center. To the northeast lies Death Valley National Park, another strong hint at the type of topography that surrounds the Trona Pinnacles. This National Natural Landmark, nearby the town of Trona, mimics Trona Pinnacles - San Bernardino County, California other intriguing tufa formations at Mono Lake and the Pinnacles National Monument.
     Considering this setting’s eerie appearance, it’s easy to envision a movie set made to order. California? Hollywood? Yes, more than a dozen movies and television shows have used this Mojave Desert locale for a backdrop. Notable movies include Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and the Planet of the Apes.

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